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Dollars & Crosses

Global-Warming Authoritarianism

Irvine, CA–Many people are calling for drastic political action to cope with climate change. But the authors of a new book, The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy, go much further, claiming that global warming can be effectively dealt with only by “an authoritarian form of government.”


In an article promoting the book, co-author David Shearman praises China’s recent ban on plastic shopping bags, expressing special admiration for its authoritarian quality. “The importance of the decision,” he writes, “lies in the fact that China can do it by edict and close the factories.”


“Views like this reveal an ugly and ominous aspect of the political frenzy surrounding global warming,” said Dr. Keith Lockitch, a resident fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute. “Though easy to dismiss as overwrought and atypical, such views expose a very real authoritarianism underlying the calls for action on climate change.


“While few global-warming activists are willing–as Shearman is–to come out in favor of openly dictatorial policies, the kinds of laws and regulations that activists do call for will hand a comparably frightening degree of control over our lives to politicians and environmentalist bureaucrats.


“In one form or another, every minute of our every day involves the emission of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas claimed to be the cause of climate change. Every moment we spend running our computers, lighting our homes, powering countless labor-saving appliances, driving to work or school or anywhere else–we are using industrial-scale energy to make our lives better.


“But global-warming activists want our use of the fossil fuels that provide the major source of that energy to be strictly controlled by the government and severely curtailed, no matter the harm that causes.


“Despite the constant assertion that global-warming science is ‘settled,'” Lockitch said, “it is far from certain that we face any sort of catastrophic global emergency. But in the name of ‘saving the world’ from unproven threats, such activists want to impose a draconian regimen of taxes, laws, regulations and controls that would affect the minutest details of our existence. Their solution to their projected ‘environmental disaster’ is to impose an actual economic disaster by restricting the energy that powers our civilization and subjecting its use to severe political control.


“Let us not allow panic over the exaggerated claims of climate alarmists to deliver us into the hands of would-be carbon dictators.”

“Retaliation”: Another Job Security Weapon

Irvine, CA–The Supreme Court hears oral argument this week in two cases that will determine whether blacks and over-40 workers may sue for “retaliation” under federal employment discrimination laws.


In the case of CBOCS West, Inc. v. Humphries, a Cracker Barrel restaurant manager was fired for leaving the store safe open overnight. He sued for retaliation, alleging he was really being punished for having previously complained about racial discrimination against a fellow employee. The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1866 allows such a retaliation claim. In another case, Gomez-Perez v. Potter, the issue is whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act grants older workers a similar right to sue.


“Most Americans think discrimination laws simply stop irrational employers from making decisions based on race, age, or sex when those factors are irrelevant to performance,” said Thomas Bowden, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute. “In fact, however, such laws burden all employers by jacking up the costs and risks of employing the so-called protected classes, such as minorities, women, and disabled or older workers.


“Any employer who disciplines, demotes, or fires a ‘protected’ worker must be prepared to prove, to the government’s satisfaction, in a court of law, that the decision stemmed entirely from legitimate business reasons. Given the huge number of employment decisions made every day, the cost associated with maintaining evidence of those decisions’ validity is staggering. A ‘protected’ employee can file a charge of discrimination with little or no evidence. Then the burden of proof–along with attorneys’ fees, lost employee work time, and the risk of large monetary awards, including punitive damagesfalls on the employer. Predictably, employers end up giving preferential treatment to members of the ‘protected’ classes.


“Outlawing retaliation clothes the ‘protected classes’ in yet another layer of legal insulation. An employee whose bad performance puts him in danger of discipline or discharge need only make a complaint of discrimination as a ‘pre-emptive strike.’ Now if his employer fires him, he can cry ‘retaliation’ and drag his boss into court, without further evidence of wrongdoing.


“The ever-present threat of discrimination and retaliation suits prevents rational employers from acting on their own best thinking about who is most fit for a job. Whatever the Supreme Court’s decisions in the two pending cases, Congress should address the continuing injustice of laws that encourage irrational discrimination in the name of preventing irrational discrimination. The best weapon against irrational discrimination is a free market, in which those who act on their stupid prejudices are shunned and lose out on talented minority, female, or older employees. The solution is not to make hiring such employees a nightmare.”

Exxon’s Lonely Battle

Irvine, CA–Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is angrily threatening to halt oil exports to the United States, in retaliation against Exxon Mobil. Exxon has used court proceedings to freeze Venezuelan assets in America, in an attempt to recoup some of the billions of dollars it lost when Venezuela nationalized Exxon’s oil operations there last summer.


“Venezuela’s nationalization of oil assets was pure theft, not a private contract dispute,” said Thomas Bowden, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute. “The Bush administration last year should have denounced Chavez’s oil grab as a form of robbery and cut off diplomatic relationships with Venezuela. But Bush did nothing and said nothing.


“Now Exxon is fighting a lonely battle in the courts, facing down an armed dictatorship that sneers at private property rights and dares anyone to defy its might. Yet a Bush spokesperson recently dismissed the matter as ‘private civil litigation, which we won’t comment on.’


“If there is anything the President of the United States should ‘comment on,’ it is the brazen theft of American property by a thuggish, petulant dictator. This is not ‘private civil litigation’ but a public outrage. Venezuela is joining the already-numerous ranks of hostile states funded by stolen Western oil assets.”

Memo to U.S. Editors: Reprint Muhammad Cartoons

Irvine, CA–Taking a defiant stand in defense of freedom of speech, on Wednesday newspapers in Denmark reprinted one of the notorious satirical cartoons of Muhammad. “Now it is the turn of American newspapers and media outlets to show their solidarity with that ideal, and reprint all 12 of the original cartoons,” said Elan Journo, a resident fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.


On Feb. 13, fifteen newspapers in Denmark and one in Sweden reprinted the cartoon of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, drawn by Kurt Westergaard. The papers’ admirable editorial decision was a response to news that Danish police had just arrested three men suspected of plotting to murder Westergaard for drawing that cartoon. Berlingske Tidende, a Danish paper, explained: “We are doing this to document what is at stake in this case, and to unambiguously back and support the freedom of speech we as a newspaper will always defend.”


“Freedom of speech is the right to express one’s ideas–in books, newspapers, drawings, speeches, films–without fear of retribution, even if others disagree with you, even if they are repulsed. This right leaves people free to dissent and free to advocate for their own ideas. This includes the freedom to challenge, criticize, satirize, denounce all religions and all political viewpoints,” said Mr. Journo.


“Newspapers in Denmark grasp that nothing should be allowed to override freedom of speech. Their refusal to bow down in the face of murder plots should be a wake-up call to editors in ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’ Few U.S. newspapers–and none of the leading ones–dared to stick their necks out, let alone raise their heads, during the cartoons crisis two years ago. U.S. media outlets, who claim to cherish freedom of speech, should realize the need to uphold it as a principle without exceptions.”

“Universal Health Care”, The Corruption of the Law and The Meaning of the American Victory over Japan in 1945

In this quarter’s Objective Standard:

Moral Health Care vs. “Universal Health Care” by Lin Zinser and Paul Hsieh
Surveys the history of government interference in health insurance and medicine in America, specifying the rights violations and economic problems caused thereby; enumerates the failed attempts to solve those economic problems by means of further government interference; and shows that the only viable solution to the debacle at hand is to gradually and systematically transition to a rights-respecting, fully free market in these industries.


Instrumentalism and the Disintegration of American Tort Law by David Littel
Illustrates the utter insanity of today’s liability law, recounts the roots and original purpose of the law of torts, surveys the missing links and corrupt ideas that led to its destruction, and sheds light on the path to identifying a sound body of principles that will ground this field in the ultimate purpose of objective law: the protection of individual rights.


“Gifts from Heaven”: The Meaning of the American Victory over Japan, 1945 by John David Lewis
Identifies the ideology of sacrifice behind the Japanese aggression that culminated in World War II; documents America’s recognition of this ideology as the fundamental cause of the Japanese assault on the West; explains how America targeted, dismantled, and discredited this ideology, replacing it with the ideas, values, and institutions necessary for the establishment of a free society; and defends America’s use of the atomic bomb as a profoundly moral way to end the war.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates Is Wrong to Blame Capitalism

Irvine, CA–Bill Gates made waves at the World Economic Forum by calling on Western nations to adopt a new, “creative capitalism.” He complained that under “pure capitalism . . . . the great advances in the world have often aggravated the inequities in the world. The least needy see the most improvement, and the most needy see the least . . .” Gates called for corporations and governments to devote far more time and money “doing work that eases the world’s inequities.”


“Gates’s entire speech essentially blames Western capitalism for the Third World’s poverty,” said Alex Epstein, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute, “and offers a slightly more sophisticated form of foreign welfare handouts as the antidote. But the West did not become wealthy at the Third World’s expense–we did not seize computers, houses, pharmaceuticals, and railroads from the Sahara. We created our wealth under capitalism, the system that liberates individuals to produce and trade without interference. And Third World countries could do the same if they adopted that system.


“The last 200 years have shown that wherever capitalism is adopted–from Singapore to the United States to Hong Kong to Australia–it enables its citizens to create wealth and prosper. Yet not one word of Gates’s speech calls for poor countries to change their anti-capitalist governments.

“No matter how many billions Bill Gates gives to poor nations, until he starts advocating universal capitalism instead of attacking it, he is acting as an enemy of prosperity in the undeveloped world.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day offers Americans an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to eradicating racism in all its forms

Irvine, CA–“Martin Luther King Jr. Day offers Americans an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to eradicating racism in all its forms,” said Thomas Bowden, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute.

Ayn Rand once wrote: “Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.” The essence of racism, she explained, is “the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced by his internal body chemistry, which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.”

“Achievement of a truly color-blind society will require not only that private individuals reject racism but that government policies and programs cease to favor some citizens over others on the basis of skin color,” Bowden said. “The solution to racism in government does not lie in further race-conscious, affirmative action programs that generate de facto quotas, nor in multicultural education that locates personal identity in one’s ethnic group. Because such policies are themselves racist, they are part of the problem.

“A model of good government policy is President Truman’s executive order ending segregation in America’s military services. Issued 60 years ago, Executive Order 9981 declared ‘that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.’

“This official policy exemplifies a government’s proper attitude toward its citizens,” Bowden said. “Every law-abiding adult has an equal right to serve in government, provided he or she can satisfy the position’s objective requirements. In setting standards, government agencies must be forbidden by law from making irrational distinctions among citizens, as by favoring some soldiers over others on the irrelevant basis of skin color.

“In a famous speech, Martin Luther King Jr. eloquently envisioned a world without racism: ‘I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ Americans should be proud of their nation’s historical achievements in ending slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregated schools, and many other forms of institutionalized racism. On this holiday, we should embrace the challenge contained in King’s eloquent remarks and recommit ourselves to the task of fully eradicating racism from this nation’s public policies.”

Liberate, Don’t Stimulate, the Economy

Irvine, CA–Fearing a recession in the wake of the collapse of the subprime mortgage market and other economic problems, factions in Washington are competing to offer “stimulus packages” to come to the rescue. Some favor Fed interest rate decreases, while others want some sort of immediate tax cut, while others want an outright giveaway to lower-income Americans.
 
But, said Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, “We don’t need the government to ‘stimulate’ the economy with some new intervention; we need it to liberate us from all its destructive economic intervention that put us in this situation.


“We need liberation from environmentalist restrictions on oil drilling and energy production. We need liberation from Sarbanes-Oxley, which treats businessmen as guilty until proven innocent and increases the cost of doing business for every publicly traded corporation. We need liberation from the government’s pervasive regulation and semi-socialization of the health-care market, which have artificially driven up the costs of health care. We need liberation from the intervention of the Federal Reserve, which is destroying our savings by inflating the currency. And we need liberation from countless other forms of government spending; if spending does not decrease, then any ‘stimulus’ tax cuts are simply tax increases for the future.


“We should not regard Uncle Sam as an economic Doctor Sam, whom we need to stimulate the heart of the economy with his defibrillator. When the government violates our right to produce and trade freely, it is an economic cancer that needs to be removed from the economy.”

Lecture: Atlas Shrugged and Environmentalism

Who: Dr. Keith Lockitch, resident fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute


What: A talk and Q&A on Atlas Shrugged and the application of Ayn Rand’s ideas to environmentalism


When: Saturday, December 8, 2007, at 3 pm


Where: Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Library, 1623 N. Ivar Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028; Phone: (323) 856-8260


Sponsored by: Los Angeles Public Library and the Ayn Rand Institute


Admission is FREE


Description: Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957, about a decade before the rise of the modern environmentalist movement.  Yet the ideas in Atlas Shrugged are indispensable to understanding and evaluating environmentalism.


In this talk, Dr. Lockitch will discuss the application of Ayn Rand’s ideas to environmentalism, exploring such questions as man’s proper relationship to nature and the deeper meaning of “sustainability.” 


Lockitch will discuss the crucial principles Rand identified in Atlas Shrugged that clarify a proper approach to the environment, and discuss the application of those principles to environmentalism–their application by Rand herself in her later writings on the nascent “ecology” movement of the 1960’s, as well as their application to today’s environmentalist movement.

Bio: Dr. Lockitch has a PhD in Physics from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and is a resident fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI). He writes and edits for ARI and is a professor in the Objectivist Academic Center, where he teaches undergraduate writing and a graduate course on the history of physics. His writings have appeared in publications such as the Orange County Register and the San Francisco Chronicle.

But do Palestinians really want peace with Israel?

Irvine, CA—At the opening of the Middle East conference in Annapolis, President Bush stated that the time is ripe for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. “The Palestinian people,” he stated, “are blessed with many gifts and talents. They want the opportunity to use those gifts to better their own lives and build a future for their children.”


But do Palestinians really want peace with Israel?


According to Elan Journo, resident fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, “On the day the Annapolis conference opened, more than 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza took to the streets to protest the peace conference.” Gaza is the stronghold of Hamas, the Islamist group that denies Israel’s right to exist. There were also demonstrations in the West Bank city of Hebron, organized by another militant Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, that regards Hamas as a sell-out for stooping to take part in elections. “The Palestinians who demonstrated,” said Journo, “refuse to contemplate the possibility of peaceful co-existence with Israel; they’re ideologically committed to replacing Israel with an Islamist regime.”


“Yet despite the popular support for Islamists–Hamas won a landslide victory in the 2006 elections–Washington insists on regarding them and their many avid followers as fringe elements.


“The Bush administration and the Israeli government evasively claim they can marginalize such fringe groups by supporting the supposedly ‘moderate’ Palestinian faction Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas. Israel has removed 178 Fatah militants from its wanted lists and Washington has bolstered Abbas with money and arms so that his faction can maintain order in the Palestinian territories. But Fatah ‘security forces’ refuse to pursue militants wanted by Israel. Why? A recent story in the New York Times explains: as a governor of the West Bank town of Nablus put it, ‘We don’t want to look like collaborators with Israel.’


“That these ‘security forces’ policing towns fear being branded ‘collaborators’ with Israel tells us a lot about what the supposedly ‘moderate’ Palestinian public expects them to be doing. Not ‘collaborating’ can mean only one thing: abetting the militants in attacking Israel–as the Palestinian Authority has done for years. This is the goal that has inspired Palestinians across the political spectrum for decades, and the reason they idolized the arch terrorist Yasser Arafat (who led Fatah before Abbas), and continue to glorify and support the legions of suicide ‘martyrs.’ The so-called moderates of Fatah, who have pursued the phased destruction of Israel, share the same goal as so-called radicals like Hamas, who openly seek to liquidate Israel; they differ only in the means and timeline they choose for their common goal.
 
“The conference in Annapolis is based on a lie,” said Journo. “What kind of accommodation is possible between the state of Israel and the Palestinians who want to destroy it?

“Washington is urging Israeli concessions of land for the ‘promise’ of Palestinian peace, but such appeasement can only harm U.S. interests. By fostering such a deal, Washington will encourage the Islamists and help establish a new terrorist regime in the Middle East.”

Environmentalists Are Muscling In on Atlanta’s Water Supply

Irvine, CA–With the Southeast suffering a prolonged drought, the city of Atlanta, Georgia, has only about a three month supply of readily accessible water. Nevertheless, in compliance with the Endangered Species Act, the Army Corps of Engineers continues to drain more than a billion gallons a day from Lake Lanier, Atlanta’s main water source, to release it downstream for an endangered species of mussel.


“The Endangered Species Act is a danger to the human species,” said Dr. Keith Lockitch, a resident fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute. “People find it hard to believe that environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act could really require the sacrifice of human beings to nature. But that is exactly what they have to mean in practice; they mean that in order to sustain some obscure mussel species, the people in Atlanta must go without water


Environmentalists claim that blaming the mussels is unfair. They say it is just a way of diverting attention from the real causes of the water crisis, which, in their view, are a lack of strict water conservation mandates and the ‘unbridled development’ of metro Atlanta over the last few years.”


But, says Lockitch, “this amounts to the bizarre claim that the problem is not a failure to build reservoirs and expand water capacity, but a ‘failure’ to obstruct economic progress and impose draconian water restrictions on Atlanta. In other words, the environmentalists’ view is that Atlantans should sacrifice even more to nature.

“In fact, the opposite is the case. Solving the Southeast’s water problems requires the rejection of the Endangered Species Act and environmentalist obstacles to development and growth. Indeed, the real solution is more profit-driven development. What is needed is a water management system that is entirely owned and operated by private individuals and companies, who would be driven by the profit motive to ensure a sufficient water capacity. A wholly private system would protect the rights of all users with a legitimate interest in the Chattahoochee River Basin–including metro Atlanta as well as the energy plants downstream and the Florida seafood industry in the Gulf–with no one requiring that human beings be sacrificed to mussels.”

The cure for the ADA is not to tinker with its definitions but to reject the idea that jobs are public property

Irvine, CA–The House of Representatives wants to greatly expand the number of Americans who are entitled to sue their employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act after being disciplined, demoted, or discharged. The proposed ADA Restoration Act would rewrite the definition of “disabled” to include employees who wear eyeglasses, have acne scars, or drink too much coffee.


“Congress is headed the wrong way down this road,” said Thomas Bowden, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute. “The cure for the ADA is not to tinker with its definitions but to reject the idea that jobs are public property, to be molded and remolded by government according to public opinion. Jobs are private contracts. Employers and employees have an absolute right to negotiate terms agreeable to each other, by their own standards of profit and satisfaction. The resulting contract, not arbitrary Congressional dictates, should govern their legal relationship. The ADA is immoral because it denies the individual rights of everyone involved.”


Enacted in 1990 the ADA currently regards as disabled only people whose physical or mental impairments impose a “substantial limitation” on a “major life activity.” The proposed ADA Restoration Act would erase that part of the definition. The revised law would cover everyone who has any physical or mental impairment, however minor, regardless of whether the problem is completely resolved by medication or physical devices, or is in remission or latent.


“Since almost every individual has some physical or mental impairment, the proposed expansion of ADA coverage would transform virtually every adverse employment action into a potential lawsuit,” Bowden said. “It is bad enough that the threat of expensive litigation hangs in the air every time a wheelchair-bound paraplegic or recovering schizophrenic applies for work. The proposed amendment would extend ADA-based fear, uncertainty, and resentment throughout the workplace, to the detriment of all concerned.”

Sea Treaty Drowns Property Rights

Irvine, CA–The Senate will soon decide whether to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty, which deems most of the earth’s vast ocean floor “the common heritage of mankind” and places it under United Nations ownership “for the benefit of mankind as a whole.”


“This treaty vests monopoly authority over most of the world’s seabeds in a U.N. agency that issues licenses burdened by complex regulations, fees, royalties, and mandatory land transfers,” said Thomas Bowden, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute. “Licensees are required to give back half or more of the submerged land they explore, to be mined by the International Seabed Authority using the licensees’ technology and know-how, with proceeds going to U.N. members such as Cuba, Uganda, and Venezuela, who contribute nothing to the productive process.


“The proposed treaty ignores the fundamental principle that unowned natural resources should become the private property of the people whose efforts make them valuable,” Bowden said. “Although the ocean floor is full of potentially valuable minerals, they remain useless until some pioneer discovers how to retrieve them. Under this treaty, however, the deep-sea mining companies whose science, exploration, technology, and entrepreneurship are being counted on to gather otherwise inaccessible riches are treated as mere servants of a world collective.


“This treaty is an injustice that will hamper, if not halt, the exploitation of undersea wealth,” Bowden said. “Because no self-respecting entrepreneur will work under such conditions, the U.N. regime will attract only the kind of lumbering state-owned enterprises that have historically failed to match the performance of private, profit-seeking companies.”


The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently held hearings on the treaty, which has the support of the Bush administration. The treaty, which President Reagan refused to sign in 1982, was submitted to the Senate by President Clinton in 1994 but never ratified. The treaty requires a two-thirds Senate majority for ratification.


“Governments have legitimate options regarding how to deal with undersea explorers’ need to establish property rights in the deep ocean,” Bowden said. “But it would be totally improper for America to declare eternal hostility to private property in the ocean floor by ratifying a treaty dedicated on principle to denying such rights.”

The UN IPCC and The Great Global Warming Swindle

Dr Vincent Gray, a member of the UN IPCC Expert Reviewers Panel since its inception, has written to Professor David Henderson, to support the latter’s call for a review of the IPCC and its procedures. But Dr Gray goes further: calling for IPCC’s abolition.



SUPPORT FOR CALL FOR REVIEW OF UN IPCC

Thank you for your latest article containing your analysis of the limitations of the IPCC and your belief that it is possible for it to be reformed.
 
I have been an “Expert Reviewer” for the IPCC right from the start and I have submitted a very large number of comments on their drafts. It has recently been revealed that I submitted 1,898 comments on the Final Draft of the current Report. Over the period I have made an intensive study of the data and procedures used by IPCC contributors throughout their whole study range. I have a large library of reprints, books and comments and have published many comments of my own in published papers, a book, and in my occasional newsletter, the current number being 157.
 
I began with a belief in scientific ethics, that scientists would answer queries honestly, that scientific argument would take place purely on the basis of facts, logic and established scientific and mathematical principles.
 
Right from the beginning I have had difficulty with this procedure. Penetrating questions often ended without any answer. Comments on the IPCC drafts were rejected without explanation, and attempts to pursue the matter were frustrated indefinitely.
 
Over the years, as I have learned more about the data and procedures of the IPCC I have found increasing opposition by them to providing explanations, until I have been forced to the conclusion that for significant parts of the work of the IPCC, the data collection and scientific methods employed are unsound. Resistance to all efforts to try and discuss or rectify these problems has convinced me that normal scientific procedures are not only rejected by the IPCC, but that this practice is endemic, and was part of the organisation from the very beginning. I therefore consider that the IPCC is fundamentally corrupt. The only “reform” I could envisage, would be its abolition.
 
I wonder whether I could summarize briefly some of the reasons why the scientific procedures followed by the IPCC are fundamentally unsound. Some of you may have received more detail if you received my recent NZClimate Truth Newsletters (see under “Links” on this website).
 
The two main “scientific” claims of the IPCC are the claim that “the globe is warming” and “Increases in carbon dioxide emissions are responsible”. Evidence for both of these claims is fatally flawed.
 
To start with the “global warming” claim. It is based on a graph showing that “mean annual global temperature” has been increasing.
 
This claim fails from two fundamental facts
 
1. No average temperature of any part of the earth’s surface, over any period, has ever been made.
 
How can you derive a “global average” when you do not even have a single “local” average?
 
What they actually use is the procedure used from 1850, which is to make one measurement a day at the weather station from a maximum/minimum thermometer. The mean of these two is taken to be the average. No statistician could agree that a plausible average can be obtained this way. The potential bias is more than the claimed “global warming.
 
2. The sample is grossly unrepresentative of the earth’s surface, mostly near to towns. No statistician could accept an “average” based on such a poor sample. It cannot possibly be “corrected”
 
It is of interest that frantic efforts to “correct” for these uncorrectable errors have produced mean temperature records for the USA and China which show no overall “warming” at all. If they were able to “correct” the rest, the same result is likely
 
And, then after all, there has been no “global warming”, however measured, for eight years, and this year is all set to be cooling. As a result it is now politically incorrect to speak of “global warming”. The buzzword is “Climate Change” which is still blamed on the non-existent “warming”
 
The other flagship set of data promoted by the IPCC are the figures showing the increase in atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. They have manipulated the data in such a way to persuade us (including most scientists) that this concentration is constant throughout the atmosphere. In order to do this, they refrain from publishing any results which they do not like, and they have suppressed no less than 90,000 measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide made in the last 150 years. Some of these were made by Nobel Prizewinners and all were published in the best scientific journals. Ernst Beck has published on the net all the actual papers.
 
Why did they do it? It is very subtle. Brush up your maths. In order to calculate the radiative effects of carbon dioxide you have to use a formula involving a logarithm. When such a formula is applied to a set of figures, the low figures have a greater weight in the final average radiation. The figure obtained from the so-called “background figure” is therefore biased in an upwards direction.
 
My main complaint with the IPCC is in the methods used to “evaluate” computer models. Proper “validation” of models should involve proved evidence that they are capable of future prediction within the range required, and to a satisfactory level of accuracy. Without this procedure, no self-respecting computer engineer would dare to make use of a model for prediction.
 
No computer climate model has ever been tested in this way, so none should be used for prediction. They sort of accept this by never permitting the use of the term “prediction”, only “projection”. But they then go ahead predicting anyway.
 
There is a basic logical principle that a correlation, however convincing, is not proof of causation. Most scientists pay at least lip service to this principle, but its widespread lack of acceptance by the general public have led to IPCC to explore it as one of their methods of “evaluating” models.
 
The models are so full of inaccurately known parameters and equations that it is comparatively easy to  “fudge” an approximate fit to the few climate sequences that might respond. This sort of evidence is the main feature of most of the current promotional lectures.
 
The most elaborate of all their “evaluation” techniques is far more dubious. Since they have failed to show that any models are actually capable of prediction, they have decided to “evaluate” them by asking the opinions of those who originate them, people with a financial interest in their success. This has become so complex that many have failed to notice that it has no scientific basis, but is just an assembly of the “gut feelings” of self-styled “experts”. It has been developed to a complex web of “likelihoods”,  all of which are assigned fake “probability” levels.
 
By drawing attention to these obvious facts I have now found myself persona non grata with most of my local professional associations, Surely, I am questioning the integrity of these award-winning scientific leaders of the local science establishment. When you get down to it, that is what is involved.
 
I somehow understood that the threshold had been passed when I viewed “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. Yes, we have to face it. The whole process is a swindle, The IPCC from the beginning was given the licence to use whatever methods would be necessary to provide “evidence” that carbon dioxide increases are harming the climate, even if this involves manipulation of dubious data and using peoples’ opinions instead of science to “prove” their case.
 
The disappearance of the IPCC in disgrace is not only desirable but inevitable. The reason is, that the world will slowly realise that the “predictions” emanating from the IPCC will not happen. The absence of any “global warming” for the past eight years is just the beginning. Sooner or later all of us will come to realise that this organisation, and the thinking behind it, is phony.  Unfortunately severe economic damage is likely to be done by its influence before that happens.

Stop Appeasing the Jihadists’ War on Free Speech

Irvine, CA–An al Qaeda representative in Iraq recently called for the murder of an artist and his editor after a Swedish newspaper published a sketch of Muhammad’s head on the body of a dog. The sketch appeared alongside an editorial decrying self-censorship by Swedish museums that refused to display the sketch for fear of Muslim reprisals.


“This death threat is the latest consequence of the West’s disgraceful failure to stand up for free speech in the face of Islamic totalitarians’ attempt to squash it,” said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute.


“Islamic totalitarians are enemies of free speech. Nations like Iran, for instance, suppress the speech of their own citizens, punishing those who criticize Islam, and actively seek to extend these brutal policies worldwide. In 1989, for instance, Iran’s ruler Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the murder of British writer Salman Rushdie following the publication of Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses. More recently, in the wake of the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons satirizing Muhammad, Islamists across the Middle East rioted and called for the death of the cartoonists.


“In both cases, most Western leaders refused to stand up for the principle of free speech. Indeed, some leaders denounced as equally offensive both the publications and the Islamists’ decree to murder those who created and published them. Such craven appeasement has emboldened the Islamists and helped spawn an alarming trend of self-censorship in the West–the very trend that inspired the Swedish paper to publish the Muhammad sketch.

“If we are to end the jihadists’ attempts to silence the West, Western leaders must stop apologizing, denounce the jihadists as immoral enemies of freedom, and defiantly assert their citizens’ right to free speech.”

Transfiguring the Novel: The Literary Revolution in Atlas Shrugged

The online version of the Fall issue of The Objective Standard has been posted to their website. In connection with all the press surrounding the fiftieth anniversary of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged—from the New York Times article “Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism,” to the Los Angeles Times piece “Ayn Rand’s Epic Storytelling,” to Lionsgate’s selection of a director for the Atlas Shrugged movie—TOS presents Andrew Bernstein’s essay “Transfiguring the Novel: The Literary Revolution in Atlas Shrugged.” Bernstein examines Rand’s dramatization of the novel’s plot-theme, her use of literary techniques, and the nature and significance of key figures in the story, showing how Rand employed such elements to tap the full potential of this supremely conceptual art form, and shedding new light on Rand‘s literary genius. Also in this issue are “The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History” by Yaron Brook (which is accessible to all for free) and “How to Analyze and Appreciate Paintings” by Dianne Durante (which is accompanied by fifteen color images of the paintings discussed).

End, Don’t Extend, the Persecution of Microsoft

IRVINE, CA–The government has been investigating and prosecuting Microsoft under antitrust law since 1990–including a 2001 judgment that forced the company to be subject to government dictates of its business practices that apply to no other software company. This regime was scheduled to end in November, but a group of states, led by California, are saying that it must be extended. According to the Wall Street Journal, their reason was that “Microsoft has faced little new competition” in “operating-systems and Internet-browser technologies.”


“This justification for further government control of Microsoft is a microcosm of the fundamental injustice of the government’s entire prosecution of the company,” said Alex Epstein, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute. The criticism against Microsoft amounts to: Microsoft has been too successful in comparison to its competitors for their liking. By this perverse logic, only if the company had been a miserable failure in producing desirable operating systems and Web browsers would it deserve to be free.


“Of course, Microsoft’s tremendous success is the whole reason it ever fell under antitrust prosecution in the first place. Antitrust law regards any company that has earned substantial market share as a dangerous ‘monopolist.’ Microsoft has suffered almost two decades of government threats and punishment on the grounds that its 90 percent plus market share in operating systems was a ‘threat’ to the consumers who eagerly chose Microsoft Windows over the competition. Microsoft used no force or fraud against anyone; its ‘crime’ was to choose to add a valuable feature, a Web browser, to its popular operating system.

“If the government extends its coercive ‘oversight’ of Microsoft, it will further compound this injustice. Instead, the government owes Microsoft an apology–and it owes other successful companies the justice of abolishing the success-punishing antitrust laws.”

European Union Has No Right to Punish Microsoft

IRVINE, CA–Under Monday’s ruling by a European Union appeals court, Microsoft must disclose secret software codes to rivals, strip Windows Media Player from its operating system, and pay a $613 million fine. The court rejected Microsoft’s appeal of a 2004 antitrust ruling in which the company was found to have “abused” its “dominant position” in the marketplace.

“This ruling violates Microsoft’s right to profit from the enormous popular acceptance of its Windows operating system,” said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. “Microsoft cannot force anyone to buy its products. If the company sets prices unreasonably high relative to its customers’ interests, then competitors are free to step in and offer a better value.  But if 95 percent of consumers choose to buy Windows software, then Microsoft has a right to profit from that success and not be punished for it.”

The ruling forces Microsoft to disclose the secret codes used by workgroup servers to access Windows-based computers, and it also requires the company to offer a version of Windows that omits the company’s proprietary media player.

“European regulators should have no power to dictate the availability or price of any company’s inventory of goods, services, or intellectual property,” said Dr. Brook.  “Antitrust laws in Europe and America unjustly threaten the freedom of every successful business and should be abolished.”

If Microsoft chooses not to appeal, the multi-million-dollar fine will be distributed to the member states of the European Union.  “The governments of Europe should be ashamed, dividing the loot like highway robbers who have terrorized a helpless victim,” said Dr. Brook.